Fast & Furious is the fourth film in the franchise and reunites the stars from the first film, The Fast & The Furious, for the first time. This time out we find Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), and their crew in the Dominican Republic stealing gasoline tankers because reselling the fuel is so lucrative. Toretto learns that the police are closing in on his location, so he disbands his crew and decides to lay low for a bit. While he’s in hiding, he learns that Letty has been murdered and comes out of hiding to get his revenge.
Meanwhile FBI agent Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) has been tracking down drug dealer Arturo Braga and finds himself crossing paths with Toretto, who's using unorthodox methods to get a lead on Letty’s killer. Since the duo is looking for the same man, they team up to take down Braga by posing as drivers to smuggle drugs. While the car races were cool, ultimately I was bored and wishing I had my time back.
As someone with a theatre degree, I know all about the willing suspension of disbelief; however the gossamer-thin plot that drives the film just left me dumbstruck. But then again I’m not a car guy, so I’m not the demographic this film is aimed for. If you were a fan of the first film, you’ll enjoy this entry in the franchise, but it left me cold.
The extras are split between the two discs. On disc one is a commentary with director Justin Lin. Here Lin offers the listener vast information on many aspects of shooting the film including the difficulties of staging car gymnastics, cursed churches, and more. He also has high praise for the cast and crew of the movie.
On disc two is where you’ll find a bevy of extras. There are eight featurettes which cover all aspects of making the film.
“Under the Hood: Muscle Cars” focuses on the cars Vin Diesel’s character uses, the cast and crew give their thoughts including many saying how the cars are actually an extension of the character so it was necessary to bring back the cars.
“Under the Hood: Imports” showcases the cars Paul Walker’s character uses in the film. Both features are pretty cool if you’re a car guy.
“Getting the Gang Back Together” has the cast and crew giving their thoughts on reuniting the original cast from the first movie.
“Driving School with Vin Diesel” is a brief featurette spotlighting Diesel driving around in the stunt cars.
“Shooting the Big Rig Heist” looks at the complicated task of filming the opening gas tanker heist, which according to producers took several weeks. It also shows how eager Michelle Rodriguez was to perform her own stunts.
“Races and Chases” is another segment where we get the cast and crew talking about the importance of the racing sequences, as well as how they were achieved.
“High Octane Action: The Stunts” covers how the numerous stunts were performed such as the cross-country race and more.
“South of the Border – Filming in Mexico” this short featurette shows a small towns reaction to Vin Diesel filming in their town, which must have been a nice “ego-stroke” for him as well it should be.
“Los Bandoleros” is a short film that was written and directed by star Vin Diesel that provides some back-story to why Dom and his crew were trying to steal the fuel that leads up to the prologue in the opening scenes of the film (a prequel to the prologue?). It’s not required viewing but it’s nice to have the option to watch.
Fast & Furious might be good for a rental if you want to turn your brain off and have some mindless fun, and if you’re a fan of the series, there is a setup for another film.